Labour equalities spokesperson resigns after praise from The Sun
Sarah Champion was cheered by The Sun for 'speaking honestly about Pakistani predators'.
Shadow equalities minister Sarah Champion has resigned from the front bench position following a backlash over her comments on grooming gangs - and effusive praise from The Sun newspaper.
The Rotherham MP hit the headlines last week when she warned people were failing to tell the truth about child abuse because they were afraid of being called racist.
She wrote in an article for The Sun: "Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls. There. I said it. Does that make me a racist? Or am I just prepared to call out this horrifying problem for what it is?"
The column led to much anger being directed at Champion from her Labour party colleagues. But perhaps the coup de grâce for the Labour front bencher was the praise heaped on her by The Sun.
An editorial in the paper stated: “Labour MP Sarah Champion should be applauded for speaking honestly about Pakistani predators.”
And the paper’s veteran associate editor, the fiercely right wing Trevor Kavanagh, wrote: "Thanks to former equalities chief Trevor Phillips, and Labour MPs such as Rotherham’s Sarah Champion, it is acceptable to say Muslims are a specific rather than a cultural problem."
In the same piece, Kavanagh talked about “the Muslim problem” – prompting 1000 cross-party politicians to sign an open letter demanding action over the article for “using Nazi like language”
Champion initially claimed that her piece had been altered and should "not have gone out in my name". But The Sun said the column was approved by her team and revealed that her adviser had said the article “looked great”.
A few hours later, she said: "I apologise for the offence caused by the extremely poor choice of words in The Sun article on Friday.”